Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Southwest Iceland: Blue Lagoon 23 - 24 May

23rd - 24th May 2008
Blue Lagoon

Our plan to visit Blue Lagoon as the final destination so that we can chill out a bit before we head home. We spend 2 nights at the Northern Light Inn, the nearest and the only hotel around Blue Lagoon. In fact we only have 1 full day to visit Blue Lagoon and other interesting places around Reykjanes Peninsula.

Reykjanes is a peninsula situated at the south-western end of Iceland, near the capital of Reykjavík. The peninsula is marked by active volcanism under its surface, and large lava fields, allowing little vegetation. Hence it looks a barren and lifeless place with vast black lava fields.

It is a fishing town at the coast of peninsula of Reykjanes. We decide to pay a visit early in the morning, mainly is to fill up the car's petrol tank before returning to the car rental company during noon. Since the Saltfisksetur Museum is just opposite the petrol station, so we just walk over.

Saltfisksetur Museum
This museum in Grindavík is dedicated to the fish-salting industry.

Entrance to the museum

Surroundings of Grindavík

Miðlína (Leif the Lucky) Bridge
The bridge, locates at far southwest of the peninsula, spans the Álfagjá rift valley (18m wide and 6.1m deep), which marks the boundary of the Eurasian and North American continental tectonic plates. This is similar to the Almannagjá Fissure at Þingvellir. It is built in 2002 and named in honor of Icelandic explorer Leif Eriksson who traveled from Europe to America 500 years before Columbus.

Miðlína bridge

The path leading to the bridge

The barren lava fields around the bridge

Blue Lagoon
This geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.

The path thru the lava rocks leading to the entrance

The 'fake' pool outside the entrance. I tested the water and it was not hot at all.

Main entrance

Bridge over the pool

Misty view of the lagoon. The milky blue waters are rich in blue-green algae, mineral salts and fine silica mud. The floor of the lagoon is coated with silica mud, which we can use as an improvised facial mask.

The lagoon is fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi. Superheated seawater is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water passes through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal hot water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.

Hence the fumes that is coming out of the power station gas tower is not greenhouse gases but steam only.

Dine In @ Northern Light Inn
Being the only hotel around the Blue Lagoon region, there are not other choices but to eat at this restaurant everyday. Luckily, the Nordic & Icelandic food served is good plus the panoramic view the dining place offers, so money well-spent.

Dinner menu

Appetizer: Soup of the Day + Shrimp Bruschetta with Citron Marinade
The shrimp salad is so good that we wanted to order again in the second night dinner. Unfortunately it is not available in the menu.

Main course: Steamed fish

Main course: Catch of the day


Accommodation: Northern Light Inn

The cozy living room of the inn

Fireplace at the living room

A corner of the living room that has a full outside view

Outside view of the living room and the Svartsengi power plant

As the inn sits on the lava field, its rugged landscape has created a illusion as if I'm in the life capsule of a space station in an alien planet.

The hotel room

Washroom in the hotel room

Click to see next - Southwest Iceland: Keflavík International Airport 25 May


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home